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On unity and order

Fall storm over the ranch - oils and cold wax medium - 8x8in.

As human beings, we unconsciously seek unity, order. We developed this natural instinct to look for order and relationships in nature so that we could predict the world around us for survival purposes. And it is still valid in our daily environment. Lining up at Starbucks for our turn to get our java is what we naturally do, partly because it is the way to behave in society, partly because it is order. And the two intersect, indeed. Or, to most, a bookshelf with neatly stacked up books is more appealing and easier to peruse than a confusing one where literature is haphazardly piled up. Examples are infinite.
This idea is valid as well in the artworld. A painting will be more successful and more appreciated if it presents unity to its viewer since recognizing patterns and order will give them pleasure. Thus the job of the artist is to simplify what can appear unclear, represent patterns in nature’s various displays, which can be confusing, bring harmony through repetition, create a dominant area to make a statement, and add variety using contrast. Easier said than done and I feel it is through constant observation, practice and pausing that the artist will succeed. And if you think of painters such as Jackson Pollock and feel that all it is is a bunch of paint thrown onto a canvas on the floor, keep in mind that he may have started that way but knew what he was doing and towards what he was heading (once again, read order). 
I can see that I naturally seek balance as, lately, I often like to split my paintings in 2 equal halves. It is partly graphic design’s influence, since I was a designer for many years, and partly my way of finding order, with the two intersecting here too. I am not necessarily a fan of symmetry, but there is something visually soothing about an area equally divided. Yet, if those halves are equal, they are never similar: I bring interest to both, using the principles I mentioned above, repetition, contrast, harmony, and variety. The painting above is an example of that: I made a point of keeping an assessing and editing eye on all areas (which is I do with all paintings). I feel that the result works and provides both a peaceful feeling with the vast field stretching ahead, and some tension with the ominous storm in the distance. Let me know your thoughts if you wish. 
Very best,
Aude

New direction: oils and cold wax medium

cold wax medium and oils on work in progress

It's been a long winter, yet its beauty never ceases to inspire and touch me, and trying to capture it seems like an impossible quest. However, I have recently been working with oils, and discovered the use of cold wax medium with them. I now have more ways to express myself than ever, and cold wax medium has been very rewarding in my "winter beauty" experiments.

Looking at what I was painting two years ago, my style has drastically changed. I think I was in a playful mode back then, perhaps influenced by a workshop towards a direction that wasn't mine. Thus, my work, over these past two years, has slowly matured to the clear desire to work in a representational way -loving the local landscapes and views- and in a more abstract manner, but "épurée", meaning, in French, void of unnecessary elements. I often split my paintings in two halves horizontally as I am fascinated by the yin and yang of life, nature, and things, and both consciously and unconsciously wanting to explore the concept in most of my work.

Oils, and their creaminess, lusciousness, seduced me, even though they have also been challenging with a definite learning curve. However, I now prefer them over acrylics. I still use the latter as I can achieve certain effects, and it makes me work in a more decisive manner since they dry fast. And then there is cold wax medium. I fell in love with it. I use it in various ways and seem to naturally be able to find my way with them. They lend a unique soft quality to painting and I absolutely love the type of effects and texture I can get with them.

I now feel clear about the path I am to pursue, and if painting is a never ending experiment and search, my focus is now on developing consistency in my work, with many paintings to be made, and the hope of a lovely body of work to offer you all.

Working from photographs


With winter approaching, I know I will have to use more photographs as reference and tools for my work. It doesn't particularly thrill me as I frankly prefer to work from reality. Making sketches on location allows me to observe many details, such a the correct light and colors, shadows and their color too, the overall landscape rather than a framed one, I can move around to see what's behind a rock, even far, I can jot down notes about the true green of trees, and much more. Using watercolor helps a lot too. 
So, photographs limit the artist vision. First, they never truly represent the colors, and the lighting can vary. A camera will never replace your eyes. Photographs are also flat, where the world is 3-dimensional after all. Finally, they are tiny ! When looking at a landscape, the scale isn't comparable and it can be difficult to work from an 8x10 print or smaller if you don't know how to scale it down accurately when you do your preliminary sketches.
That said, they are valuable for other reasons. When cold temperatures hit and snow covers the ground, sketching or painting on the spot isn't easy. That's where photographs come in the picture, no pun intended ! They are a good tool, but you need to keep an editing and evaluating eye while using them.
Finally, it's important to use only your own photographs, first from a copyright point of view, but also because when you take them, you will be better able to translate the emotion from it onto canvas or paper than using someone else's. You did take that photo, your mind and eye remember it, and translating it will be much easier than using one that you know nothing about. 
But if given a choice, do work on site if you can, it will make you a better artist.

Very best,
Aude

Painting clouds with acrylics

Stormy range - 6x12 in. acrylics on deep cradled wood panel.

Painting clouds with acrylics is not that difficult, it turns out. But if you feel challenged by it, here are some tips to help you out.

First of all, you need to practice with the concept of scuffling, which is essentially using a bit stiffer brush, a little white paint at first and starting in a center point you gently "scrub" the paint around lightly, further and further around until the brush is out of paint. At that point, you should have a pretty fuzzy shape, lighter and fuzzier on the perimeter so that it seems to disappear. Then you simply repeat the same procedure, and again, and again, until you feel that it looks "airy" enough. Try to avoid hard edges.
In the painting above, I used only Cerulean Blue, Raw Umber, and white for the clouds. I kept mixing various tints in order to get the right variation in clouds. I never used black.

At some point in this process you'll have to decide where the light is hitting the clouds and apply more white consistently so that it makes sense visually. So go ahead and practice on your favorite surface.

Now, for my personal technique: I work on wood panels, and since they tend to lack texture like a canvas, the paint slips around a little more (make sure you do coat your board with gesso, but it's not a fix-all solution.) For that reason, note that scuffling is more difficult and you just have to practice a little.

Because I live in a dry climate, I like to use Liquitex blending medium. I don't use a lot, just have a little pool of it ready to dip in. It really helps in the scuffling method and extends slightly the paint wetness without keeping it wet too long like the Open series. I also work a little faster. Note that the blending medium dries glossy so I make sure that after my painting is done and very dry (1 week), I apply a satin varnish to even out the whole surface.

Finally, a great video to watch is https://youtu.be/OIB1Rddh2p8

Hoping this was hopeful, let me know how it's going for you.

Very best,
Aude

Landscapes are fun too.


The fall is a very inspiring season in Jackson. Colors abound, contrast too, and the light is magnificent. I feel that everything looks "yummy" and I want to paint it all. I recently finished a painting on leave, which you can look at on my website.

I have also decided to tackle a beautiful landscape view I took a photo of recently. The Teton range presents a variety of looks depending on the season, the conditions, the light. This time, it was dimmed under the clouds' shadows, allowing the enormous field of blonde grass to look stunning, and the distant hills be another lovely element. So, I had to paint it.

I still need to add the mountain range, but the main challenge is painting the clouds, as I'm not sure how I want them to look. I need to experiment on a test panel with varied medium mixes in order to achieve the right effect. I'm also not looking at copying exactly what's there. I know I will come up with something great as I am not satisfied if it's not making the whole look harmonious.

Off to my brushes!
Au revoir,
Aude

Jewel-like or eggshell finish, and edges



I have recently discovered a wonderful way to finish my paintings, which lend them this beautiful jewel-like or and eggshell quality, depending on the very final steps.

The first one is definitely more sexy, similar to Ferrari car finish, only thicker and more luscious. The other goes a couple of steps further, and the result is a soft satiny finish, yet as transparent, and it seems more appropriate for some of my nature related art, requiring a more organic look.

As far as edges go, I let the painting guide my decision. Not all paintings look good with natural wood edges, in spite of the panel birch wood color being beautiful. At times, I can simply see that the whole will look more appealing if painted. I also do not like to attract much attention to the edges, are the painting needs to be the focus. For this reason, I never use any type of finish that could distract the viewer, such as paper pattern collaged on or textured paint.

Finally, I have opted out of using frames all together as I feel that it is an unnecessary element. I like how the imagination can expand beyond the sharp edges of the painting and a frame would create a stop to that. That said, at time I have considered using a floater frame and that is something that may help me enhance my work in the future. For now, simple and beautiful is best.

Painterly yours,
Aude

Quote of the day:
"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."
~ Pablo Picasso

It's about sharing




I feel very postive about the recent change of direction in my work. Sometimes it takes some real tuning in, listening, and it can be a very subtle realization or a loud one. Personally, it was both! It was like a bud developing and giving me hints of what I should be doing and stop doing, and then the flower opened, and I knew.

What I absolutely love about creating my art is sharing. We live in society and we need the connection to others, at least most of us, and sharing art is most rewarding. I know that what I draw or paint usually bring a reaction in most people, and that's what I'm after. Sharing means allowing people to express what it is they like, dislike or are indifferent to, basically opening a conversation with them. I doubt that my artwork ever disturbs anyone (although if it does, do let me know why), particularly since I've gone back to painting figuratively. So if it makes one feel more at ease, enjoying what they are looking at, then I feel happy that I've contributed for a moment to a positive state of mind.

There is enough sadness and suffering in this world that if we can bring a little joy to anyone at any time, then it's an act of kindness.

Finally, I feel I am doing the right thing with being on a new path. I have painted 5 paintings and sold 3 within days. That is most encouraging. I am grateful and wish to be bringing you more art often.

Aude

An AHA moment and everything changes!



When you are a creative mind, it is usually good to push through difficulties in order to progress. I supposed that's what having "grit" is about. There might be moments when you feel like giving it all up because it's simply hard. There are good days and bad days, and when the bad ones are around we face what Steven Pressfield calls resistance in his book The War of Art. It is like a part of you, yet it could care less about you, trying to coax you to stop in order to stop the suffering. After all, it's all about living in the most pleasurable way, seems like. Or at least, that's what our primal mind thinks: if it's hard, don't do it. Most creatives go through this at some point and the key is to keep doing what you're doing, not stop. However, there are times when one might want to listen deeply and pay attention. That's what I did.

Rcently, I was struggling with my abstract work. There was a disconnection from it, I felt lost, and unsure of what to create, not enjoying my creative time. I tried a different style, more textural, simplified, etc. It wasn't working. It was becoming stressful to the point of dreaming, one night, of being inside a sinking boat and going down with it.

Yet, in that dream, the boat popped back up and I didn't die! I took the time to reflect on my work and realized that I was not enjoying this abstract style because I missed sketching and doing more figurative work. I missed it terribly, in fact. I had this vision of painting some simple flowers on a small panel, in a spontaneous way. I did some quick sketching and my painting evolved as I went. It was fun! I painted another 8x8 in. panel with a flower arrangement I made, and loved it. In fact, a friend of mine said at once she wanted to buy it. Wow. I did a third panel, more natural history-like, and had a blast, even though it was challenging in its ways. Texting it to another friend to get her opinion, she said too she wanted to buy it. Double wow.

And so, I am shifting my work. I have listened to what it is that I needed. It's not that I'm not plowing through difficulties as I should, as those 3 panels had their problems to solve, but I have listened to what my heart was telling me and now it's singing again. 

Those 3 panels are what you're looking at above, and I will have many more. My intention is to open a shop on Etsy and paint a real variety of subjects. I am not stopping my abstract work but pausing for the moment. There is no such thing as utter joy when you are doing what you love. I am now!

Blissfully yours,
Aude



Minimalist paint kit for trekking


I was just on a 7-day trek in the Teton range, on Teton Crest Trail, a fabulous experience. I so love hiking and being out on trails for that long period of time, it rewinds my clock, energizes my creativity and allows me time to reflect on aspects of my work and life.

With my backpack weighing around 42 lbs, I had to really trim down on the art supplies! So I chose my little watercolor notebook, a Moleskine one with 60 pages, and good paper, my mini box of watercolors, 1 yogurt pot lid for a palette, 2 tubes of gouache (white and black), 1 small pencil - no eraser (I never use them anyways), 1 apple sauce container for water, 1 tiny light ruler, 1 #3 brush and 1 Niji waterbrush, 1 Copic Multiliner brush 8mm, and 1 Artline pen 0.1.

With the pouch to carry all this, the kit weight is 325g, or 11 1/2 oz. Not bad!

Thus I had the opportunity to write, sketch scenery, work on abstract vignettes too. I never totally stop doing art, it's simply a part of my daily life one way or another.
I'm set for the next trip!











You know the feeling when you've been doing something you love but at some point you need a little break in order to renew your mind, your muse mind, and your ideas? That's where I'm at today.

The past few months have been spent painting regularly and it's been rewarding as the more you do something, the better you get at it. My work has benefited from this commitment and now shows a more refined approach as well as more defined elements, while remaining abstract. I feel very positive about my progress, and intend to keep at it.

If you visit my website you will quickly see what I'm talking about.

I have about 8 new panels completed, 4 of them are showing in "Tiny Art Show" curated by Meg Daly and Alissa Davies, on Wednesday, August 3, 10 and 17 at the People's Market. The other 4 panels need their edges painted and varnished but that's easy although lengthy as I make sure the panels look professional.

So, after all this great work, I'm off for a 7-day trek and glad to take a good break before getting ready for more art-making. I'll be in touch soon again!

Au revoir,
Aude

When do I paint?


Like everyone these days, I'm very busy with various projects. Most of them are art-related, which is what I prefer by far. But many are not, and this is what our life is made of: following our bliss, when we dare doing so, and everything branching out from it. Then there is... the rest. Some of that "rest" can be quite fulfilling as well, and is necessary; otherwise, as artists, we would be way to obsessed with doing only what we love doing. The rest of life is here to allow us to spend time with family members, walk our dogs, see friends, help others, etc. and address more mundane chores such as shopping for food, cleaning, bills, and more. You know your list, don't you? Some are fortunate and can hire help. Many of us can't and we have to take care of things on top of pursuing our passion.

When do I paint, then? I know morning are when I'd prefer to, but last fall I decided to help a friend of mine for a few hours in the morning during the week. It does help paying bills and it's a fun opportunity to be out of the studio, surrounded with people and helping. I now have as a habit to paint in the afternoon instead, after lunch and exercise. My sessions often start around 3:30 pm and can run until 7 pm with a couple of breaks here and there. I don't like to fall into a rabbit hole while painting and it is good to distance myself from my work. Looking at swallows flying around while sipping on a coffee, or lying in the grass on my back and staring at the clouds are my favorites.

This daily commitment to painting is a great way to progress. There are days, indeed, when I can't paint, or have very little time, and I will always try to get in my studio, even for half an hour. I don't wait for inspiration, I don't let myself be distracted, I simply commit to showing up every day.
It's this constancy that allows my work to move along. 

Best,
Aude


Painting on wood panels


I do all my work in acrylics on wood panels instead of canvas. I prefer by far using a hard surface since I layer a lot of paint. But, mainly, I distress paintings with gusto, using sandpaper and all sorts of gouging tools from dry points to screwdrivers and knives. A canvas absolutely cannot withstand this treatment, neither does illustration board, although I made a couple of paintings on the latter and it was more forgiving than canvas, but was way too porous, and sanding didn't work very well.

What I like best is when I sand is that the results are usually beautiful. This process allows me to get a softer, worn out look, sometimes even grunge-like and adding a glaze or paint on top is like the cherry on the cake. I can build much depth, and no other surface allows me to do so.

I also, on occasion, add collage to my work and paper glued onto wood is perfect, since it's made from trees. There are no issues as long as you use medium properly and here too, the result is gorgeous. Same with transferring an image from a laser printer copy, which I'm starting to explore some. One more process is using artist tape to get very straight lines, and that would not work so well on canvas.

My favorite suppliers are RexArt and American Easel. RexArt even creates custom sizes.
Here are the links to their sites:

  • http://www.rexart.com/canvasmain.html
  • http://americaneasel.com/cradledpaintingpanels.aspx
Best,
Aude






Upcoming solo show in June and July


Last September, I was one of the lucky 9 nominees in the Jackson Rising IV exhibit and had the privilege to have been given a large space on the wall for several pieces. Witnessing the curiosity and interest the audience had in my work was most rewarding and encouraging. 

I am very happy to see my second show happening. And this time, it's a solo show! It will be in Isabel Jewelry & Gallery in Pinedale, WY, an hour away from Jackson, and there will be a reception on June 17, from 5 to 7 pm. Come for a great time and it's a good opportunity to see my friend Isabel beautiful and classy jewelry work.

I have been painting a lot, and will have new work, and some from last year. I am experimenting and learning a lot these days, so my style is maturing and evolving. I intend to post regularly now on, and have been, in fact, on Instagram where you can follow me anytime @audenevius

I want to share my process as I work and make you a part of it.

So, come on June 17 if you are near, if not, keep reading my blog!

Thank you,
Aude

Spring!

Yes, it's spring, finally happening in Wyoming. It has been raining a bit and everywhere I look is green as can be. This is so refreshing after the monochromatism of gray winter days. Nature has come to life again and because of the harsh climate, it's a yearly celebration.

I find myself wanting to paint everything green, in fact. It's such an amazing color and it's fascinating the know that most of the world is green -except for the oceans and seas, indeed. So it's the most "natural" color around, but it's never been an easy color to reproduce. What comes out of your tube of Permanent Green Light you will never find outside. Green is difficult to reproduce, and it has often been made of metal, or rather, the corrosion of metal.

I am loving all the nuances and thinking I need to explore a painting that encompasses them all, without being boring and overly uniform.

In the meantime, I'm back in my studio painting a lot! I had a difficult winter with my sweet beloved dog being sick and passing away and it took me a long time to recover. Now on, my art will always be dedicated to him, for he was a grand presence in my life.

Here is one of my latest studies, mainly green, I guess. It will most likely change in design and values, but for now this feels good.



My gold


Fall is past and winter showing signs of taking over with some basic snow. It's time to be more indoors and I am reflecting on why I am doing this artwork.

I'm not exactly sure why, aside than having been involved into art in one form of another since I was very young. I used to spend hours in my bedroom drawing and being content with that. Today, many years later, I find myself in my studio painting... and being content with that. It simply brings me great happiness to mix paint and use it. I sort of feel as an alchemist, and if the acrylics I use are less precious than gold by far, well, they are my gold. They allow me to translate whatever seems to need to be translated onto those wood panels.
It takes courage: I feel, at times, the anxiety when I start, for the act of creating is not an easy one. Ask any artist. And yet, it is also a catalyst for doing it. Instead of paralyzing me, it motivates me to see what is going to be painted today. There is great joy in that mystery, and yes, courage, for it would be much easier to just sit with a good book by the fireplace. 

I now understand that I need to pace myself a bit. After having started with a bang recently, I am slowing down some, perhaps due to the season, when we retreat inside - homes and ourselves. I am remaining very inspired but I feel that pausing more will benefit my work. So all the desire to keep up with the various media is slowing down too, even though it's critical. I want what I paint to be more known, for I yearn to share it (not so much for an income, although being paid for what you do is always good, right?). I keep posting on Instagram more often as it's easy, less on Facebook as I find it demanding, and I have opened a shop on Etsy so that I would have a way to sell without stressing about it.

And now, it's time to paint, I am very excited to be doing that in 5 minutes: water is ready in buckets, my palette is primed, off to work.

Making progress



It's been an amazing amount of work to progress on the road of promotion. I have felt that there is so much to be taken care of: it can be overwhelming as it takes a lot of time, away from painting, particularly. I wrote previously about being organized, and that implies having a plan in order to have a map to follow and move forward.

At this point, it's important to establish priorities. It appears that one that is pressing is simply to get framed the artwork that needs it (pieces painted on wood boards as they look so great with that dark floating frame). Once that is done, I will be able to open my shop online. But before I get my artwork framed, I need to varnish them all, with 2 coats each. So, working backwards to find what's most important is a great way to progress, as odd as it may seem.

I don't forget to paint, either, as this is what I live for, after all. So... I have almost finished the painting above, but I am not satisfied yet, I have to push it further. It lacks spice!

On studio time optimization

Browsing the net for info, I came upon a great article for artists about being efficient with time spent in the studio. It's clever, well-written, and I liked it so much that I printed portions of it to have on my wall as a reminder. I read it in the morning with my cup of coffee, before working, and it really opens the mind up to possibilities. 

Not much else to say, read on about Artists - Making Effective Use of Your Studio Time

A great success at the Art Association “Jackson Rising IV” opening reception!



Friday night saw the works of 9 artists being displayed, mine amongst them. It was a lively show, with many people showing up: the reception was part of the Fall Arts Festival and Palate & Palettes, thus attracting quite a crowd. 

It was my first participation to a group show of this size and to see my 7 paintings featured on a large wall, and in the best location, was a true reward. All paintings are different, but my style is clearly established and the whole was cohesive. Many art lovers were present, asking me numerous questions about why I paint this way, what inspires me, drives me, how I create this or that, and I was blown away by the overall response. People really liked what I did and they validated my hard work. 

One of my works was sold, "Summer Between the Sun and the Moon" (keeping the buyer’s name anomymous, but I'm honored). I am grateful for his support, and it motivates me to keep pushing further. I have so much to paint and share, it’s the best part of being an artist! I also want to thank all those who came to see my work, specifically: your support is invaluable!

I can now rest a little, yet I don’t want to “rest upon my laurels” (French expression), and here are 3 actions I intend to pursue by the end of the year: 

1) entering 5 juried shows
2) speak to H.S. about having a solo show at one very very popular place in town
3) ask the newspaper about creating a portrait in the local newspaper

… and paint daily!

Enjoy your week,

Aude

A useful tool: Instagram



Instagram is one of those great social media tool for getting your work more known. It has developed into a very popular app, and if it's not as much as Facebook, it's simply because it is a different interface, and a simpler one, more based on visuals. Check out this article for more details Instagram vs. Facebook
Instagram demands less of you but it seems you can see more. I am learning to use it regularly, and discovering some great talent artistically, which is hard on Facebook. Browsing for great images is a breeze, particularly with hashtags.

Some artists even make a killing selling their art on it! Once again, from The Abundant Artist website, an article on such situation and if it is certainly motivating, there is no doubt that this doesn't happen overnight, that successful selling artists on Instragram, or any other social media, work hard at this, and are pretty good at marketing. Which can be learnt. I used to think of myself hopeless in that department, but perhaps because my motivation is totally different now, I understand a lot more and have more interest in it.

One thing I learnt is that posting regularly is good, often is better, several times a day is optimum. That said, I don't have the time to do so, but my goal is to post once a day. And don't forget hashtags, they are critical to spread your work in that network. You might want to limit them to 10 or so, after that it becomes a little obnoxious and is not recommended. Also, try to post with hashtags that are not so common: for instance, if I post with a #abstratctart, I can see that there are over... 126 million posts, so your work will get lost at the bottom really fast. Be creative, find hashtags that are not typical keywords, or create your own.

And now if you want to see quick images I post, my Instagram name is "audenevius"

Final notes:

  • my website is now up and running!
  • tonight is the opening of the Jackson Rising IV exhibition where 7 of my paintings are featured. I am most happy and can't wait to talk to viewers.

What's the header about?



I created my header to share a small part of what I do. The left side is self-explanatory, it's a cropped view of my work area, a sketch that took me a good hour to make, it's fairly detailed. I probably should sketch the whole area but that would take me a lot longer, so, in due time! 
And about the painting on the right. Do you feel as if you had all the time in the world? If so, you're lucky! I wish days were twice as long. I wish I could buy time. Even better, make it! The painting was an attempt at translating the "busi-ness" of life making us go like mad, and finding a still moment, which was when I was painting. The process of painting is always very meditative, I don't work fast, I observe a lot. This is, among other reasons, why I'm an artist: because it makes me pause and find my center, and sense of freedom (the seagull on the bottom).  I like symbolism a lot, and the Chinese IChing came to mind, and it fit right in. 

Are your days busy? Do you pursue any artistic purpose? What does it do to you, for you, in relation to a busy life?

Enjoy your day,
Aude

On selling your art through social media


Being an artist means spending a lot of time on your own, doing what you do best, your art. It can be a bit lonely at times, as a social life is not easy to bring into the picture. If you are a total hermit and never need to see anyone, perfect, but it’s probably not the norm. And it is well-known now that being social is an important part of healthy brain function. The other side of being social is that it is a critical step in order to get your artwork out in the world. If you’re not already doing that, read on.

About the whole aspect of selling your artwork online. I am finding out all about it these days, studying options and ways to do it well, and slowly moving forward that, rather than gallery sales. The reason for that is that for a minimal investment, you can see new collectors come to your store and buy your work. It does take a bit of work, and that does involve social media. 

Some pointers as far as what you can do:
  • Blogging: keep people informed of what you are doing. Blog a couple times a week, or more. Inform potential art collectors about what you’re doing, what is happening in your artworld. You never know who might be interested.
  • Facebook is now a fabulous tool, and I am going to use it shortly: for a small fee, $10 or $20 a week, you can reach quite an audience. Cory Huff at The Abundant Artist tells you all about it
  • Instagram: great tool and here is Cory Huff’s take on it 

There are other options, but these three are a good place to start.

What about Twitter? in my opinion, it is helpful for getting known, but I find it a lot of work. I like participating in the occasional chat, but it takes too much time overall. I keep it as recreation.


*Note that I am not getting any commission for mentioning Cory Huff’s website. I simply like what he does and am considering following some of his courses eventually.

Tooting my own horn



A week from now, Friday Sept. 11, is the opening reception for the Jackson Rising IV exhibition. I am part of it, as I have been nominated by an artist friend of mine. It came to a total surprise in July, yet it came at the perfect time, as I was painting - and still am - daily and had much to show.

There are 8 other artists, and this exhibition will be part of the famous yearly Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival. I will have 7 paintings showing and this has come at a very auspicious time! I have so much to paint and share, I’m proud of what I’ve done so far, and intend to go much further. This involves selling my art online, rather than approach galleries locally and nationally - at least for now.

My collection is all about my dream-like world. It is abstract, yet I am inspired by nature so much that it comes out in its own ways in the pieces. I like that they are all open to interpretation. That is my intention: to make the viewer decide what they are seeing, to take them away from the every day scene. Specially in Jackson, where art is all about the scenery and fauna. We’ll see what the reaction is. I know what I do is unique. But it’s hard to be a prophet in your own country, and I am not sure I have my place in Jackson. Time will tell. Thus the goal to sell online.

I am working on it daily, and my next steps are:
- redo my website
- create my Facebook page
- get business cards printed

Have a great week-end,

Aude

Slow and patient


Today is a new day! I love getting up in the morning and feeling the full potential that lies ahead. However, I am learning fast that becoming a professional artist is not easy. Not easy at all, in fact. After the conviction that I would sell paintings fast, that I would be quickly be able to stop working in graphic design and paint all the time (how naive), I have understood over the past few days that it's not how it goes. Unless one is extremely lucky, have unheard-of talent, and is noticed by some collector, slow and patient is the norm.

I have be listening to the radio show Artist Helping Artists, also available in podcasts, and it's a gold mine of information. And now I get it: you need to be very prepared before you enter the selling world. And it takes time to get there. I will write more on this as I go.


When I thought that such news would make me depressed, when I had high hopes, I actually relaxed! How surprising! What happened is that it took the pressure off to succeed today. The concept of giving myself 2 or 3 years to go into the art business is just what I needed right now, as I was pushing pretty hard. I was simply going to exhaust myself, and was feeling stressed. Suddenly, a weight has lifted and I can paint with my heart, to my heart's content too, and work towards building inventory over time.


Slow and patient allows me to set up goals and a plan. Starting with today, I will, in any order:

  • paint 3 hours
  • write a blog post (done!!)
  • work on MindMeister to organize my thoughts and plan my path.
May also your day be filled with potential, and realizations,
Aude

Towards becoming a professional artist


This year, I decided to finally embark on the path to becoming a professional artist. Not a small thing, considering that the world probably could care less to have another artist. But does it need it? YES! I keep reading about being showing something different, and I feel that I am. I was sketching and doing watercolors and as of March, entered an abstract realm that is new and suits me well. I am not sure where I fit, and I'm not sure the world will like it, time will tell.

There are so many things to cover before I actually become a little bit known.


1. Painting! It remains the reason why I want to do this. It's about holding a brush, and doing my work, primarily.

2. Social media and networking, which lives in the realm of marketing. I am not fond of having to spend more time than I want on that, however it is a amazing tool nowadays and I am grateful to have access to it.
3. Marketing. That is THE largest part of getting anywhere. It includes many areas to cover.

There are more than 3 but those are the main categories. So, I better keep at it.


On a great note, I have been selected by a friend and artist to be in the upcoming Jackson Rising IV. It is happening soon, more on that in a coming post.